September 2014: First cut from Jesse's final album now out. "Every Day I Get the Blues," but somehow lovely.
April 2014, Update: Was misreported before, but now sadly true, Jesse has died. Terrific writer. Added recent tribute by the great Allen Toussaint below. And one of prettiest (and most moving) songs ever, "As Soon As I Get On My Feet."
Earlier: There's a report--now debunked--that great songwriter Jesse Winchester has died at 69 from cancer. In any case, his Facebook page did report him going into hospice care recently. Far from a household name, but drew wide acclaim more than 40 years ago,with a debut album, featuring such as "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz" produced by Robbie Robertson at the height of The Band's influence. Also famous because he was a Vietnam war draft resister living in Canada and could not tour for many years in the USA. In fact, when I was at Zygote in 1971 (before re-starting Crawdaddy), we went a write to Montreal to interview him. Check out his mid -1970s albums for some great stuff especially. Here are a couple selections. First, obscure "Isn't That So." Below, he reduces Neko Case to tears on TV. And his classic "Black Dog."
Friday, September 5, 2014
Jesse Winchester, A Look Back
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch